Watch this video discussing the risks of buying fake goods and the difference between IP infringement in the physical world and in the digital environment.

Use this chart to listen out for key points made in the interview.


With more and more shopping taking place online the consumer faces more and more problems regarding whether they are buying genuine or counterfeited goods. What might look like a bargain may in fact be a shoddy counterfeit product.

From the point of view of traders who are selling genuine articles, cheap imitations (being sold as the genuine article) might attract buyers, reducing the sales of honest traders and reducing the perceived value of the brand concerned.

  • Look again at some of the following statements taken from these interviews:
    • Making a copy of a CD or DVD, or downloading a movie from the internet, feels [to many consumers] like quite a different proposition from buying a copy Ralph Lauren polo shirt
    • The internet has a huge impact on counterfeiting
    • Because there is no physical market place [with online trading] the counterfeiters run a lower risk of being caught and stopped


  • Using these statements as a starting point, compose an article for an online magazine about the challenges to and protection of intellectual property rights for online traders. Depending on your area of interest, your article can be aimed at readers with an interest in Business Studies, Media Studies, Law, Psychology or Art & Design. Cover the following points in your article.
    • Be clear as to which type of traders you are writing about.
    • Explain how their intellectual property rights are potentially infringed by online trading.
    • Highlight the impact this can have on a trader’s company.
    • Offer some ideas of how traders can protect themselves, showing why this is significant to society as a whole.
    • Make links, where appropriate, to cases of traders’ intellectual property being infringed and / or what was done about it.


To deepen your understanding have a read of the following articles.

NOTE! Be careful not to click on links on any web site unless you are sure it is legal and safe!

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